Have you ever felt like you've tried every discipline idea out there and you're just not seeing results? It is so frustrating!
I remember doing the same thing and feeling like a failure as a mom. We weren’t having any major issues, just enough occasional challenges along the way that had me thinking, “What are we doing wrong?" and "If we have a plan in place, those days won’t feel so hard. We will have something to fall back on.” I read parenting books, asked my friends, listened to the “experts” and had long chats with my parents about some of our challenges (I’ve shared before how much I respected their parenting and their parenting partnership – they were my “go-to” experts!). I was desperate to figure out a discipline plan that felt right for our family. It wasn’t until I began thinking about the “why” behind some of our discipline decisions that I had a few “A-Ha” moments. The biggest piece of insight: It wasn’t the kids, it was us! Here’s why: 1. We weren’t being consistent, which was confusing the kids. 2. We never really talked about discipline in the early years, we just assumed we would be on the same page. (Hint: don’t assume things like this!)
3. We approached things differently which resulted in stress within our relationship and our parenting. I decided to dig a little deeper, as that is what I love to do – keep peeling back that onion! What resulted was the two of us sitting down to really hash out why we were disciplining the way we were and what values we were trying to instill in the kids. After all, discipline is a series of teaching moments – what were we trying to teach them? Once we had those answers, we had a starting point to work from. The next step was to blend our approaches. It took some work, but we finally got on the same page, and what a difference it made for the kids and for us! I’m sharing all of this because it is now a very important piece of the coaching I do. I firmly believe every family needs a family values list. All of my clients have found it to be an eye-opening exercise and one they use as a basis for their discipline plan and parenting decisions. When couples work together and build a family values list, it will: 1. Ensure they are on the same page and have the same behavioral expectations.
2. Add consistency to discipline and messaging
3. Help the kids understand what behaviors are expected and give them a better chance at fulfilling parents' expectations
4. Build a family bond when everyone is working within the framework of family values.
5. Shift parents from reactive to proactive parenting!
Most importantly, if you are basing your discipline and messaging on your family’s unique set of family values it will fit your family. After all, discipline is not a one-size-fits-all thing!
If you are ready to ditch the trial-and-error attempts at discipline and really hone in on a discipline plan that fits your unique family, I’m here to help!
Check out my services at www.daretoparent.com